LANL Health Insurance Changes For 2014

By Fred deSousa
Communications Office
Los Alamos National Laboratory

On Tuesday, LANL Director Charlie McMillan introduced changes to the health care offerings for Lab employees that take effect with open enrollment for 2014.

In short, McMillan described the Lab’s goals of continuing to attract top talent and provide quality, sustainable benefits plans.

The two principal offerings are a traditional Preferred Provider Option (PPO) plan, and a new High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) paired with a Health Savings Account.

The Health Savings Account is one of two important additions to the Lab’s benefits plans. The account will be pre-tax, interest bearing and portable (i.e., remains with the employee if they retire or leave the Laboratory), and allows unspent balances to roll over to subsequent years. The other addition is an employee wellness program with financial incentives and rewards for various levels of activity.

Premiums and copayments will generally rise for the PPO versus the most popular 2013 plan. Premiums will decrease for the HDHP and the Laboratory will provide one-time transition contributions to help cover higher deductibles in this option.

“Of the choices available to the Laboratory, we believe the two options give our employees the best value while incentivizing wellness and smart health care choices,” McMillan said. “It puts us ahead of the curve in a changing national environment and lets people choose between a traditional plan and a new type of plan that is gaining popularity across the country.”

A series of at least 10 employee information sessions begins next week with open enrollment scheduled to begin in early November.

The administrator and provider network for both plans remain Blue Cross Blue Shield.

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